When a new game releases across multiple platforms, players often face a difficult choice. Do I play it on PlayStation for the trophies or on the PC for mouse and keyboard support? Ever since the Nintendo Switch launched in 2017, another question has arisen. Do I buy a game on Switch so I can play it on the go? For myself, the concept of playing the newest and most popular title in bed or on the road is often a no-brainer.
Games ported to the Switch usually have some trade-offs. They typically run at lower frame rates and don’t look quite as good as their other versions. The port of The Witcher 3 is an excellent example of this. While it is impressive that this massive title can run on the console, you will have to overlook low-quality textures and graphics to enjoy it. Other games like Mortal Kombat 11 are also easy to enjoy on the Switch, as long as you don’t mind losing some fidelity.
It might be hard to imagine someone playing one of the last generation’s greatest games on a tiny screen, but The Witcher was very successful on Switch. In a financial report from 2020, CD Projekt Red announced that the port had sold around 700,000 units in less than three months. Those are awe-inspiring numbers for a downgraded port of a four-year-old game. It seems like most people didn’t care about the lower frame rate and just wanted to play their favorite RPG on the go.
No matter how massive a new release is, it almost always finds success on the Nintendo platform. That’s why I often look at specific titles and wonder, “Why isn’t this on Switch yet!?” The following list covers five great games that absolutely should be on the console.
#5. Monster Train
Release Date: May 21st, 2020
The recent popularity of roguelike deck-building games has been fun to watch. While the genre has existed for about a decade, it didn’t capture the public eye until 2019’s Slay the Spire. Since then, many excellent titles have come out, and most of them have ended up on the Switch. Slay the Spire is one of my favorites to play before bed and is by far one of the most played games on my console.
Monster Train was released just over a year ago and is possibly one of the best entries in the genre. Its art design and soundtrack create an incredible aesthetic that’s hard to ignore. Developing new strategies and decks is always fun, and its replayability is insane. Unfortunately, having to sit behind my computer to play has deterred me from going back to it.
Having Monster Train available on a handheld console would revive my interest, though. A run typically only takes thirty minutes, perfect for short commutes to work or waiting for appointments. Plus, if you get interrupted while playing it, you could quickly put the Switch in rest mode and continue later in the day. The developers have been vocal about a port being possible but reliant on overall sales. Hopefully, the project is full steam ahead.
#4. Yakuza Remastered Collection
Release Date: February 11th, 2020
The Yakuza series got its start on the PS2 back in 2005. Since then, it has grown in popularity with a steady release of sequels and spin-offs, which have helped keep the franchise in the spotlight. The main narrative throughout these games follows the saga of Kazuma Kiryu. From Yakuza 0 up to Yakuza 6, players can experience his unpredictable and emotional arc as he grows from an ambitious young yakuza member to the Dragon of Dojima and beyond.
Over the past few years, the developers at Ryu Ga Gotoku studios have been revisiting older titles and remaking them within their current engine. They could not do this for each entry, though, and recently released upgraded versions of Yakuza 3, 4, and 5 as a collection. Despite not being the complete package, I think the bundle could find a new audience if ported to the Switch.
While each game tells a different chapter of Kiryu’s life, they also work well on their own. Some characters appear throughout multiple entries, but each title tells a unique story with minor references to previous events. Each one typically includes a recap of the essential beats for new and returning players.
The main reason I would love to see the Yakuza series on the Switch goes beyond the story, though. Each Yakuza game is full of excellent and fun mini-games. From bowling to karaoke to Mahjong, it is easy to get distracted and spend days without progressing the story. Most of these activities allow for co-op play as well, so it would be easy to pass a Joy-Con to a friend and spend a few hours on the golf courses of Okinawa.
#3. Persona 5
Release Date: February 14th, 2017
JRPG’s usually require the player to devote a significant amount of time to complete them. The main story of the original Persona 5 takes just under 100 hours to finish and another 80 hours if you want the platinum trophy. I started playing Persona 5 Royal earlier this year and can’t believe how much content is in it. While I enjoy getting cozy on the couch before playing it, I wish I could take it with me to help get through it quicker.
It’s genuinely shocking that we haven’t seen Persona 5 on the Switch yet. Joker, the protagonist, was the first DLC character revealed for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. When he came out for the fighting game, he also came with a Persona-themed stage and a fantastic music catalog from the franchise’s history. This year, the Persona 5 spin-off game Persona Strikers was released on the Switch and is set after the original game’s story. Finally, Persona itself is a spin-off of the popular Shin Megami Tensei series, which has exclusively appeared on Nintendo consoles for the last few years.
It’s hard to know the exact reason why a port hasn’t happened. However, if it ever does, I am confident that it will run smoothly on the console. The original was released and ran well on the PS3 and doesn’t require as much power as open-world titles. Persona 5 is one of the most stylish games I have ever played, and putting it on the Switch would allow more people to experience it in any way they like.
#2. The Sims 4
Release Date: September 2nd, 2014
The Sims is a franchise that almost needs no introduction. Players can create an avatar, live vicariously through them, or lock them in a house with no doors to watch them suffer. It is accessible to people of all ages and is one of the most popular franchises in gaming. Its most recent release came out three years before the Switch launched, and a port still seems unlikely right now.
The Sims 4 would be perfect for the Switch. You can hop in for ten minutes or spend an entire afternoon creating a new family of characters. If you are out of the house and have a spontaneous idea, you can work on it immediately instead of waiting to get home. There is a steady amount of new content coming out for the game still, so there would never be a dull moment while playing it. I think that if a port ever happened, The Sims 4 could be one of the highest-selling games on the Switch.
Unfortunately, EA and Nintendo don’t have the most extraordinary partnership these days. Many of EA’s popular titles like It Takes Two or Command & Conquer would be fantastic on the Switch but currently show no signs of being brought over. EA and Nintendo had a strong partnership once, but after a majority of the developer’s titles sold poorly on the Wii U, distance began to form between the companies. EA only released four games on the under-selling Wii U, and so far have only released eleven of their games on Switch. Having Sims 4 on the platform makes a lot of sense from a business perspective, but bad blood seems to be stopping it from happening.
#1. Grand Theft Auto V
Release Date: September 17th, 2013
When looking at the long list of games that aren’t on Switch, Grand Theft Auto V sticks out. Rockstar’s almost decade-old release has been available for nearly everything but Nintendo platforms. Similar to The Sims, I have to scratch my head and wonder why one of the most successful titles of all time wouldn’t make itself available to more players. If open-world sandboxes like The Witcher 3 and Skyrim can find success on the Switch, shouldn’t Grand Theft Auto be able to do the same?
It’s hard to remember these days, but Rockstar and Nintendo used to have a solid relationship. During the Wii era, Rockstar ported over popular titles like Bully, Table Tennis, and even the controversial Manhunt 2. Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, my favorite in the series, was released exclusively for the DS for six months before being brought over to the PSP in 2009. So far, they have only ported one game for the Switch, L.A. Noire Remastered back in 2017.
Would releasing Grand Theft Auto V on the Switch be controversial? I don’t think so. The series is infamous for its mature content, but many games currently available on the eShop contain an equal amount of blood and exposed skin. Titles such as Mortal Kombat 11 and Wolfenstein II are hyper-violent, and others like South Park: The Fractured But Whole and Saint’s Row are possibly more controversial than GTA.
I don’t think Rockstar would have much to lose if they eventually decided to release GTA V one more time. Technical setbacks from the Switch wouldn’t make it the best way to play it, but that hasn’t stopped other AAA developers from finding success on the console. It’s hard to imagine the popular Grand Theft Auto Online running well, so I guess a port would only contain the main story. Perhaps it is impossible to bring Los Santos over to the Switch, but it would be a crime if they didn’t try.
What did you think of the five games I would like to see on Switch? Are there any games I missed? Let me know in the comments below.